Saturday, December 8, 2012

Charles Addams: The Flashing Festers

Over the years, Charles Addams created a number of what I call "Flashing Festers," souvenir drawings featuring his iconic Addams Family character Uncle Fester. A couple of them have been offered at auction by Heritage in the past:

Charles Addams, Uncle Fester.
Heritage Auctions Listing, July 28, 2012


Charles Addams, Uncle Fester.
Heritage Auctions Listing, July 28, 2012


Charles Addams, Uncle Fester. Dedicated "To Richard with all best"
on the front free endpapaper in a copy of The Groaning Board, 1964
Heritage Auctions Listing, November 16, 2011


Charles Addams, Uncle Fester. Dedicated "To Richard with all best"
on the front free endpapaper in a copy of The Groaning Board, 1964
Heritage Auctions Listing, November 16, 2011

Charles Addams, The Groaning Board, 1964
Heritage Auctions Listing, November 16, 2011



Charles Addams, Uncle Fester. Dedicated "To Richard with all best"
on the front free endpapaper in a copy of 
The Groaning Board, 1964
Heritage Auctions Listing, November 16, 2011




One of the most elaborate of these flashing Festers is currently being offered by Bauman Rare Books in New York City. At $3,800, it is also the most expensive one I've seen. It appears in a copy of the cartoonist's 1981 collection Creature Comforts and was dedicated by Mr. Addams to Mary Lee and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. for Christmas 1982. Uncle Fester sports boxer shorts with festive red and green stripes.

Now you know how to respond the next time someone asks you whether Uncle Fester wears boxers or briefs.

Charles Addams, Uncle Fester
inscribed to Mary Lee and Douglas [Fairbanks, Jr.], 1982,
in a copy of Creature Comforts, 1981

 Bauman Rare Books Listing, 2012

Copy of Creature Comforts inscribed in 1982 by Charles Addams to 
Mary Lee and Douglas [Fairbanks, Jr.]
 Bauman Rare Books Listing, 2012

Charles Addams, Creature Comforts, Bauman Rare Books Listing, 2012


Sold!
Image added March 23, 2017

October 11, 2015 Update:
























eBay Listing Ended July 20, 2015










September 4, 2018 Update:  As mentioned in the comments section below, reader George Kovalenko of Saskatoon, who writes the Fountain Pen History, Hand & Pen blog, has found a Flashing Fester in a 1977 copy of Newsweek, where it is purportedly identified as an Addams self-portrait.

Charles Addams
Newsweek, April 18, 1977, page 61
The University of Sasketchewan library


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4 comments:

  1. There's another version of the Flashing Fester drawing in Newsweek, April 18, 1977, p.61, but this time it's identified as an Addams self-portrait.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found it in the well-stocked university library here. The public library here is the pits.

    https://i.imgur.com/suRF62Z.jpg

    ReplyDelete